Letter to Editor: Legislators can’t ignore school-funding mess
Squabbling over the cost of education
Last week, I attended a presentation from the NH School Funding Fairness Project at the Goffstown School Board meeting. I felt like the presentation was very straightforward, and the numbers are clear that New Hampshire does not provide enough state funding to meet the state’s constitutional responsibility to fund education.
When the state pays an average of $4,700 per student in adequacy funding, and the actual cost of education averages closer to $20,000 per student, that’s not adequate. I think the school board felt the same way. They were nodding along, because they see this every single year when they put their budgets together.
What was really disconcerting is, despite the very clear presentation, when given the opportunity to ask questions, it seemed like none of the state representatives in attendance would even consider exploring the issue further.
None of them said they would support increasing school building aid when they heard Goffstown was using some temporary buildings for classrooms. None of them would consider slowing down the repeal of the interest and dividends tax to prevent even more of the school funding burden from landing on property tax bills.
I hope the courts make it clear in their rulings on the two ongoing school-funding lawsuits that the Legislature must stop dragging its feet and start coming up with a school-funding solution that complies with the New Hampshire constitution.
— RINA PETIT, LITCHFIELD